Savings under £14,250 (care at home)

My mum has carers attending 3 times per day to her home following a stay in hospital due to a new condition. She was provided with the free re-enablement service (12 weeks care) and then they did a council financial assessment to see what/if she would have to contribute to the ongoing care plan at home.

She has savings under the lower threshold of £14,250 and based on her benefit income, after the minimum income guarantee it was decided that she could afford to contribute £137 per week towards her care, so that’s around £550 per month.

That is all set up since last November and it’s working out okay even though she doesn’t have much money left each week now.

My question now turns to the savings she has. A year ago, well before any thought/need to home care, she discussed with myself and siblings that she wanted to help us out by gifting us each an amount from her savings. It never materialised due to one thing or another but she has brought it up with us again. I have asked her not to do anything until I ask a few questions around this as looking online it seems to be unclear.

My concerns is that the council will feel she is “deliberately” trying to avoid paying even more towards her care even though she is already paying the maximum she can currently afford based on their income assessment. Do they have any control/say of a person’s savings under £14,250 and what they choose to do with it? Similarly, could she go and buy a new kitchen tomorrow from her savings under £14,250? It begs the question, do the council now hold all the cards on what she can/can’t spend savings on?

I’m asking on her behalf as she is unable to use a computer.


Search for “deprivation of assets”. No she should not give away lump sums, unless her kitchen is falling apart, probably not that either. Worn out carpet that’s a trip hazard would be OK. Is she getting Attendance Allowance?

If the starting point is already under the threshold and is unlikely to rise, she can do what she likes. It’s her money. If the savings are going up, then it’s likely to be seen as deprivation of assets unless the kitchen is unsafe or doesn’t meet her needs.

Thanks for the reply. She does not get Attendance Allowance as she is already receiving DLA (both parts).

What I can’t quite grasp is that if any savings under £14,250 are not counted towards any countable “asset” in the assessment, then why is this not “her” money to do what she wants/needs?

I’ve had a read up on deprivation of assets and it doesn’t really mention anything about you having under £14,250 and what you can/can’t do with it, just about if you have over, and if you give money away to deliberately make it so the council will have to help with the payments.

She is in a different situation where she already contributes all the possible weekly income she is able to do so, and they are not taking any from her savings nor did they tell her anything about what she can/can’t do with it.

It’s so confusing… she has money… but is scared to use it?

Her savings used to go up a small amount each month, but now she is paying most of her care from her weekly income, there is not enough to put in savings any more as there isn’t anything left over at the end of the month to do so.

I assume the council do an annual review of her finances? If the savings are still under £14,250 (be that £1,000 or £10,000) then it still isn’t included in the calculations?

Having spoken to the Age UK helpline to get their steer they said that anything under £14,250 is ignored and you can spend it on what you want, they even suggested a cruise :unamused:

This is what I mean, what is not clear is this ignored amount, can or can you not use it as you wish?

It seems Age UK agree with me: they have quite a lot of expertise in this area, and while I wouldn’t recommend a cruise, doing useful stuff around the home makes a lot of sense in any case.